Hollywood A-lister Angelina Jolie has received an honorary Damehood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her work to fight sexual violence.
Angelina is recognised in the Diplomatic Service and Overseas Birthday 2014 Honours list, for exceptional service to Britain overseas.
Angelina, 39, said: “To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to.
“Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself.
“I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime, and I am dedicated to it for all of mine.”
London-born actor Damian said: “I was very surprised but very happy to accept. I decided to do the very un-British thing of accepting the compliment.”
Damian, 43, who is married to actress Helen McCrory and has two children, added his family were “delighted, when they stopped asking what it was for”.
Damian said he thought he would take his father with him to the investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
“I don’t think you ever stop trying to impress your parents and I hope they will be proud and enjoy being there with me to celebrate the honour,” he said.
Damian is currently filming Wolf Hall, the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s historical novels in which he plays King Henry VIII, and best-selling author Hilary has been made a Dame for services to literature in the honour’s list. The writer, whose novels about the life of King Henry VIII’s adviser Thomas Cromwell have been critical and commercial hits, already has a CBE.
Glasgow-born John, who has also hosted a number of TV shows and enjoyed a successful West End career, has been honoured for his services to entertainment as well as his contribution to charity.
“It’s one of the proudest things, thus far, that has ever happened to me,” John continued. “I never expected to get an honour like this. You hear about other people getting them but never expect it yourself.”
Speaking from Sydney, Australia, where he is promoting his drama series Arrow, he said he would be having a small celebration now he could go public with the honour, which he found out about a couple of months ago.
“It was the hardest thing to keep quiet,” he admitted.
“I’m going to crack open a bottle of champagne with the people who are out in Sydney with me,” he added.
John said he will be accompanied by his husband Scott Gill and his parents when he makes his trip to Buckingham Palace.
Three-times Academy Award-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis, 55, received a knighthood in the latest list.
He said: “I’m entirely amazed and utterly delighted in equal measure.”
Another Oscar-winning actress Dame Maggie Smith has been elevated to a Companion of Honour.
For a generation of TV viewers, the 79-year-old actress is now inextricably linked with her role as the Countess of Grantham in period drama Downton Abbey, while fans of the Harry Potter films will know her as Professor McGonagal. She was made a dame in 1990 and her array of accolades includes a fellowship and a special award from BAFTA.
Welsh singer Cerys Matthews has landed an MBE for her services to music.
The 45-year-old rose to fame as the lead singer with Catatonia, whose hits included Road Rage and Mulder And Scully, before going on to accompany Sir Tom Jones on their hit duet Baby It’s Cold Outside.
Cerys, who studied to be a psychiatric nurse before her musical success, was also a contestant in ITV series I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! in 2007.
“I am delighted to receive this honour,” she said, “and accept it not so much for the music I’ve made but for the music I’ve played on my BBC6 Music show.
“Folk, blues, jazz, traditional music whose authors didn’t receive recognition in their lifetimes. I am passionate about sharing music, through writing books, making documentaries and, of course, through the wonder that is radio, to an ever widening audience – and to receive recognition for this is incredible.”
Actress Phyllida Law – mother of actresses Emma Thompson and Sophie Thompson – has been given an OBE for services to drama and her charity work.